Half a million riders descend upon small-town South Dakota each year. This year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally saw more felony and misdemeanor drug arrests than last year, with three vehicles seized for drug possession. Ten men were arrested at Sturgis for soliciting sex from minors (thankfully, the fifteen-year-old girls they were trying to meet were in fact police officers posing as kids). Sturgis statistics are in AMERiders gives you the info.
Those of us who have never attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally probably think that speeding motorcycles and crashes are what keep the cops at Sturgis busy, but we’re only partly right about that. Along with all the drug arrests, there are lots of crashless DUI arrests during these rallies, too. It doesn’t help that area bars and restaurants actively encourage imbibing during the rally.
Thankfully, this year’s crash numbers involving injuries and fatalities are down from last year, so perhaps fewer riders are drinking and riding. Three people died at Sturgis in 2019, as compared to four in 2018. One of this year’s fatalities, however, was not from a motorcycle crash on the road: a Sturgis attendee succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning inside his camper.
It stands to note that in these statistics from Sturgis this year that only two people were killed in crashes. However, there were Four people killed at the 2018 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. That is half maybe next year we will cut it in half again or there will be none. One can only hope.
Though I’ve been steeping in it for more than two decades, motorcycle culture still baffles me at times. Why anyone would drink a bunch of alcohol and then attempt to pilot a motorcycle is absolutely beyond me. For instance the statistics below.
Rally-related DUIs continued to rise this year, with a total of 157 arrests so far compared to 136 arrests over the same period of time in 2018. Drug arrests are also on the rise. 109 arrested on felony drug charges, compared to 64 at this time last year; 192 people have been arrested on misdemeanor drug charges, compared to 150 at this time last year.
I do, however, understand how motorcycles attract a certain personality type. We’re all influenced by the media, and we’ve all been trained to believe that tough guys ride motorcycles, therefore riding a motorcycle makes you a tough guy (or girl).
Read through all of the crash reports from the rally and you might notice a striking similarity among the majority: the riders were not wearing helmets. Say what you will about personal freedoms and choices, but the numbers don’t lie.
However, what is the moral of the story?
Maybe don’t sell drugs at a motorcycle rally.
~And as always…
~Live Free Ride Hard~
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